19 January 2007

I sell sea shelves

My brother Barry, who I hadn't seen in many months, has been at my place this week building a wall of shelves in my living room, from floor to ceiling. I'm very excited about the prospect of putting my poetry books in a single layer, so I can see what I have and alphabetize. Already I've shifted heaps of books and DVDs onto the shelves he's completed. It's allowed me to sift through my fiction: I've already found half a dozen duplicates. I can't believe I buy books over and over.

It was my excellent friend the poet Michael Dennis who has been urging me to install these shelves. In the beautiful little Ottawa home he shares with his wife, Kirsty, he has a tiny study lined with shelves on four walls. An amazing poetry collection fills all the shelves. I can't do four walls now, but maybe someday....

Dana says the extra storage space will be life-changing for me. It's really going to help declutter, and help clarify, and help organize. Making that a better room to write in. Plus, I'll be able to access any poetry book in seconds.

So far, the most fun part has been to organize some of my collections on the new shelves: Samuel Beckett, Mervyn Peake, B.S. Johnson, Patricia Highsmith, Davis Grubb. I feel like I'm going to read more and watch CNN less. That would make me a better writer and a happier biped.

Friday, Barry puts in the remaining shelves, the ones that will hold my poetry books. Will I keep all my New York Poets in their own section or file them alphabetically among the other poets?

O cruel dilemma.

Over and out.


At January 19, 2007 2:50 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

nothing beautiful is alphabetical. go with your instincts.

At January 20, 2007 4:46 pm , Blogger dana_plato said...

Peter Greenaway.

At January 20, 2007 8:36 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

of course, all generalizations are wrong.

At January 21, 2007 3:01 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shelves! You lucky guy. I couldn't find any of my books if I didn't alphabeticize them. You have to remember to file 'em back after you look at them, though. Hey, that's probably why I can't find half my books!

At January 21, 2007 6:53 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

a rolling library ladder. leather chairs. a pipe. a visit from professor plum. very suave.

At January 25, 2007 1:20 pm , Blogger torontopearl said...

Can you please send your brother to our house next...? There are some walls here -- that have big plans ;)


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